Animal Housing and Husbandry
The UIC animal care and use program is committed to ensuring that research animals maintained at UIC receive the highest standard of care including the use of housing systems and husbandry practices that meet and/or exceed the regulatory requirements of the Animal Welfare Act and the recommendations of the Guide for the Care and Used of Laboratory Animals.
Standard Animal Housing
Standard Animal Housing
Rodents maintained in BRL managed animal facilities are housed in sterile static microisolator cages on autoclaved corncob bedding with water bottles. Rodent food is irradiated (Envigo 7912) and water is autoclaved. Both food and water are provided ad libitum. The standard photoperiod for rodent rooms is 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness with the exception of rodent rooms in the School of Public Health Psychiatric Institute building, which is 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Rodents are provided with autoclaved enrichment materials appropriate for the species (mice receive nesting material and rats receive tongue depressors to promote gnawing). Cages are changed at least weekly in either a biosafety cabinet or a HEPA filtered animal transfer station. Housing density and cage size are consistent with the recommendations of the Guide for the Care Use of Laboratory Animals.
Large animals (rabbits, dogs, swine, and nonhuman primates) are maintained in species specific cages or floor pens. Food is provided daily and where appropriate ad libitum. Water is provided by water bottle or automatic water system. The standard photoperiod for rabbit, swine and dog rooms is 14 hours of light and 10 hours of darkness; whereas, the standard photoperiod for nonhuman primate rooms is 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Animals are provided with species-appropriate enrichment. Cages and pens are spot-cleaned daily and sanitized at least every two weeks. Housing density and cage size is consistent with the species recommendations of the Guide for the Care Use of Laboratory Animals and the Animal Welfare Act.
For specific information regarding other species please contact the BRL veterinary staff.
Specialized Animal Housing
There are a number of rooms in the BRL and COMRB that can accommodate the use of hazardous agents that require containment, including:
- Chemical agents of low to moderate risk
- Infectious agents requiring animal maintenance at Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL 2)
- Commonly used radioisotopes
Please contact a member of the veterinary staff for housing details and training specifics if your project will require use of hazardous agents.
Standard animal husbandry provided by animal care staff includes, but is not limited to:
- Receiving animal shipments and transferring animals to cages in their assigned rooms
- Cage changing and washing
- Room sanitation
- Daily food, water, and health checks
- Basic cleaning and maintenance of animals rooms and animal room equipment
- Stocking animal room supplies
- Monitoring cage and animal room environmental conditions
Specialized animal husbandry services provided by animal care staff includes:
- Transferring animals between facilities
- Providing treated water or special bedding for rodents
- Acid water
- Antibiotic water (0.66 mg/ml sulfamethoxazole, 0.13 mg/ml trimethoprim)
- Paper bedding
- CO2 euthanasia of mice for a minimal fee
Note the PI should contact the facility supervisor to arrange special husbandry services.